4.51k followers • 19 symbols Watchlist by Motif Investing
Cash-rich companies have lower credit risk and can invest in growth, even when debt-ridden rivals are pulling back.
Johnson & Johnson
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Automatic Data Processing, Inc.
Analog Devices, Inc.
Lam Research Corporation
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
Netflix's (NFLX) success rests on subscription growth. However, debt from original content production may show on the company's Q3 bottom line.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Cisco Systems, SAP, Gilead Sciences, Bank of America and Caterpillar
Skechers, The Children???s Place, Netflix, Apple and Disney highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day
The Google Pixel 4 aims to beat Apple’s iPhone on camera and price. Photograph: GoogleGoogle has launched its latest iPhone-competitor, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, with new radar technology, dual-camera and a lower price.Google’s consumer hardware division unveiled a series of new devices in New York, led by the Pixel 4 smartphone and including an updated Nest Mini smart speaker and Nest Wifi system, among other products. The Pixel 4 and 4 XL are two new Google-made smartphones that are designed to challenge Apple’s iPhone with new hardware and software technologies, plus Pixel-exclusive Android features, while undercutting it on price.The Pixel 4’s UK price is £669 £70 less than last year’s Pixel 3, or $799 in the US, and it comes with Google’s new dual-camera system, which pairs a wide angle 12-megapixel camera with a 16-megapixel 2x telephoto camera for up to 3x hybrid zoom. The new camera also comes with Google’s next generation of its “night sight” technology, capable of capturing long exposures of stars in astrophotography mode and other low-light tricks.Google has made its market-leading HDR+ computational photography system work in real time, displaying what the final image will look like in the viewfinder. Users will also be able to decouple and manually adjust the background and foreground lighting using a new feature called dual exposure. The camera technology aims to solving the problem of backlighting.The Pixel 4 has a new 90Hz OLED screen, in 5.7in or 6.3in sizes depending on model, similar to that introduced on the OnePlus 7 Pro in May. It is also the first smartphone to come with Google’s new Neural Core chip and local speech recognition technology for Google Assistant, which is capable of recognising natural language without having to send the data across the internet to Google’s servers. The breakthroughmeans your voice data stays on the phone, allowing for greater privacy, significantly faster responses and the ability to work offline or in unreliable internet connectivity.Google also built the technology into a new Pixel voice recorder app to provide offline real-time transcription and the ability to search through the recording.> Look internet, no hands. Pixel4 Learn more https://t.co/PYY0AFcnyI pic.twitter.com/f9v51VbXWd> > — Made by Google (@madebygoogle) July 29, 2019The Pixel’s biggest new feature is the integration of Google’s Soli radar technology. The new chip enables hands-free gestures for a variety of functions such as silencing alarms, skipping tracks in music and interacting with new Pokémon Pikachu and Eevee wallpapers. It will also detect presence and is integrated into Google’s new Face Unlock 3D facial-recognition technology, which mirrors that introduced by Apple with the iPhone X’s Face ID.Geoff Blaber, vice president of research for the Americas at CCS Insight said: “The inclusion of radar with Project Soli gives Pixel 4 some unique UI features through gesture control. It’s unlikely to be viewed as game changing but it gives Pixel 4 some much needed differentiation in the smartphone sea of sameness.”“With Huawei facing huge challenges, particularly in Europe, now is the time for Google if it’s serious about moving the needle with Pixel.”The Pixel 4 will cost £699 and the Pixel 4 XL will cost £829, both with 64GB of storage, shipping on the 24 October. Google Nest MiniGoogle’s new Nest Mini smart speakers stick with the tried and tested pincushion design, but with better sound. Photograph: GoogleGoogle also launched a revamped Google Nest Mini, which is a replacement for the Google Home Mini and continues the firm’s rebranding of its smart-home devices under the Google Nest mark.The new £49/$49 Nest Mini features the same fabric, pincushion-like design, available in a variety of colours, but comes with new ultrasound presence-sensing system, as well as new touch-controls on the top. It has a new machine learning chip for faster processing of speech and frequently used tasks, plus new wake word technology that is designed to minimise accidental activations.The speaker has been upgraded, too, with increased volume and 40% improved bass. The speaker will also automatically adjust the volume depending on background noise and has a wall mount option. The body and fabric are made from 35% and 100% post-consumer recycled plastic respectively. Google Nest WifiGoogle’s new Nest Wifi doesn’t look like your average router. Photograph: GoogleGoogle also unveiled the second generation of its smart wifi router system called Nest Wifi. It combines a central router with mesh points to spread a wifi network across your home and eliminate black spots.The Nest Wifi has more powerful antenna for greater coverage and faster speeds further away from the router, connecting to your broadband via ethernet. It supports Bluetooth and Thread connectivity for connecting smart home devices to your broadband without additional hubs, but is only wifi 5 (802.11ac) not the new, faster wifi 6.The mesh points support the same connection technologies, but also have Google Assistant smart speakers built into them, which are essentially Nest Mini with touch controls, activity lights and a mute switch for greater privacy.Nest Wifi costs £149 for the router on its own or £239 with one point. Additional points cost £129 each. Google Pixelbook GoGoogle’s new Pixelbook Go ChromeOS laptop has a new super-quiet keyboard. Photograph: Jeff Chiu/APAlongside the Pixel 4, Google also showed off the latest in its own-brand Chromebook computer line, the Pixelbook Go. It is the follow up to 2017’s Pixelbook after Google abandoned tablets such as its 2018 Pixel Slate for traditional laptop-style computers.The Pixelbook Go has a 13in widescreen with a redesigned keyboard featuring new “Hush Keys” for quiet typing and traditional trackpad. The machine is 13mm thick, weighs about 1kg and is made of magnesium with a matt finish on the lid and ribbed bottom for added grip. The Chromebook has two USB-C ports for charging and connecting devices such as monitors and smartphones, a traditional 3.5mm headphones socket to take care of audio and Google’s Titan C security chip.It will be available in a variety of different models starting at $649 in the US, including options with Intel’s Core m3, i5 or i7 processors, 8 or 16GB of RAM, 64, 128 or 256GB of storage, and either a Full HD or 4K screen.The Pixelbook Go will be available in black first with a light pink colour coming at a later date. PixelbudsThe new Pixelbuds will launch next year to take on Apple’s AirPods. Photograph: Jeff Chiu/APGoogle also showed off its next generation Pixelbuds earphones, which will launch next year costing $179.The new Pixelbuds are now true wireless, as made popular by Apple’s AirPods and others. They sit almost flush in the ear and offer a new hybrid design that uses a traditional silicone earbud tip for a solid fit and bass response, but offers awareness of your surroundings using new spatial vents that allow sound from the outside world in as well.For picking up your voice, they feature both beamforming microphones and accelerometers that can pick up the vibrations of your voice through your jaw. Google Assistant is built in with “Hey, Google” wake word support, while Google Translate can perform real time language translation, like the previous versions of the headphones.The earbuds have long-range Bluetooth technology that can connect to a smartphone through three rooms inside or across the length of a football pitch outside. They will last five hours of continuous playback and up to 24 hours using the wireless charging case.
DICK'S Sporting (DKS) witnesses strong momentum on efforts to build the best omni-channel platform as well as robust merchandising initiatives.
Skechers' (SKX) international wholesale business remains a key sales driver. Management expects international business to increase at a mid-teens rate over the balance of the year.
Google's Pixelbook Go and Pixel Buds are some of a slew of new hardware products the company debuted at its big event in New York.
Netflix's (NFLX) third-quarter 2019 results are likely to be negatively impacted by rising competition and price hikes in overseas markets.
(Bloomberg) -- Johnson & Johnson won’t set aside any legal reserves for the more than 100,000 lawsuits it faces across its portfolio of drugs, consumer products and medical devices, saying it expects to fight and win many of the claims.The company has spent $832 million on litigation expenses this year, and outside estimates of damages from lawsuits over opioids, psychiatric drugs, talc powder and medical devices range in the tens of billions of dollars. While several large verdicts have attracted headlines, J&J Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk said the company expects to fight and win many of the thousands of cases.“Right now if you think about some of the cases that are out there, they are likely subject to our prevailing on appeal,” Wolk said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “There’s nothing to book, nothing to accrue. It wouldn’t even meet the accounting standards.”Setting aside legal reserves is an accounting matter, and companies don’t typically include them until they believe they can be reasonably estimated.The lawsuits have overshadowed the company’s otherwise robust business results. J&J reported third-quarter earnings Tuesday and raised its full-year profit forecast after beating analysts’ estimates, thanks to growing sales in its drug unit and what it touted as strong results in medical devices. But the shares are still well-off their 52-week high in December.“Investors are starting to come around. They’re starting to get an appreciation, a better certainty around the level of risk that actually is within the stock,” Wolk said.J&J was up 2.3% to $133.72 at 10:26 a.m. in New York. The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company’s stock has gained 1.3% this year as of Monday’s close.*Court-approved global settlement agreementsThird-quarter adjusted earnings were $2.12 a share, the company said in a statement, topping the $2.01 average of analysts’ estimates. The company raised its 2019 adjusted earnings forecast to $8.62 to $8.67 a share, up from $8.53 to $8.63. It’s the second raise this year.Profit was up from a year before, with net earnings of $4.83 billion in the third quarter, versus $3.93 billion a year prior.The company’s pharmaceutical unit grew 5.1% despite U.S. pricing pressures and competition to blockbuster immunotherapy drug Remicade and cancer treatment Zytiga. Sales of the two drugs are expected to decline more next year as generic competitor eat into their share, J&J’s Worldwide Chairman of Pharmaceuticals Jennifer Taubert said during a Tuesday call with investors.The company said its medical device unit had its best quarter since 2015, after accounting for acquisitions, divestitures and currency headwinds.“I feel pretty confident that our platform will start to get back to the market performance,” said J&J Worldwide Chairman of Medical Devices Ashley McEvoy, pointing to growth among its electrophysiology products and its orthopedics business.LawsuitsWolk said the J&J would continue to defend legal claims that it thought it could win.“The management team here will look at what a reasonable outcome could be for all stakeholders involved,” Wolk said. “When products are safe, when they’re effective, we’re going to look to make sure that those products aren’t subject to what’s become unfortunately a big business model for plaintiff’s attorneys.”The accusations against the drugmaker are substantial. Last week, a jury ordered J&J to pay $8 billion for wrongfully pushing doctors to prescribe the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal to the elderly and to children -- though the verdict is unlikely to be upheld on appeal. In 2013, the company agreed to pay $2.2 billion to resolve civil and criminal claims brought by the U.S. government that it illegally marketed the drug. Some teenage boys who took the pills developed female-sized breasts and sued the company.The company has also been accused of helping drive the U.S. opioid epidemic, and is one of two dozen companies that have been sued by states, cities and counties. It In March, it lost a lawsuit brought by Oklahoma and was ordered to pay $572 million for wrongfully marketing its pain drugs in the states.Not even its consumer unit has been immune. More than 15,000 suits claim the company’s talc powder caused different types of cancers because of contamination with asbestos. Amid the scrutiny, J&J has relaunched many products in its baby unit. Sales there have yet to recover, with U.S. revenue in the baby care group down 24% from a year prior, to $91 million.(Adds information about pharmaceutical and device performance in 10th paragraph)\--With assistance from Jef Feeley.To contact the reporter on this story: Riley Griffin in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Drew Armstrong at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO/BERLIN (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google unveiled new Pixel smartphones with higher quality cameras, a radar sensor and faster virtual assistant on Tuesday, but failed to provide enough to set the devices apart from rivals and nix concerns about price. The Pixel 4 phones, in two sizes, headlined a New York press event at which Google also announced its first moderately priced laptop, first wireless earbuds and upgrades to its to well-reviewed Wifi router and burger-sized smart speaker. Google started developing hardware about four years ago, wagering that it could introduce artificial intelligence into devices faster and better than rivals and that consumers would clamor for such features.
(Bloomberg) -- The Libra Association, which oversees a controversial cryptocurrency, was officially formed on Tuesday, and its five board members have one thing in common: close relationships with Facebook Inc. and its executives.When Facebook first announced Libra, the company was quick to point out that it wouldn’t be alone in managing such an ambitious endeavor. Instead, it hoped to be one out of as many as 100 companies controlling the new digital coin. But as regulatory pressures have mounted and early partners have been leaving the project in droves, Facebook finds itself resorting to close allies to fill the Libra leadership team.David Marcus, who heads the Facebook team that proposed Libra in the first place, is on the board. Marcus is also an investor in Xapo Inc., whose Chief Executive Officer Wences Casares is on Libra’s board as well.Joining them is Katie Haun, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, which was an early investor in Facebook. Another early Facebook backer, Digital Sky Technologies, is part-owned by Naspers, which has majority ownership of the parent company of PayU, the home of another Libra board member, Patrick Ellis.The fifth board member, Matthew Davie of micro-lending service Kiva, also has ties to Facebook. One of Kiva’s board members is John Muller, associate general counsel at Facebook who, like Marcus, hails from PayPal Holdings Inc.“Silicon Valley boards nearly always have these kinds of interconnections,” Aaron Brown, an investor and a writer for Bloomberg Opinion, wrote in an email. “Even someone without formal ties to Facebook will have informal and indirect ones. So no one qualified to be on the board is likely to be fully independent of Facebook. But I don’t see the board as being essentially an independent check on Facebook. I see it as a group of qualified and interested people.”The board members and the Libra Association didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.“Yes, David is a very small investor in Xapo like dozens of other people from Silicon Valley. Yes, Wences and David are both in payments and fintech in Silicon Valley and because of that they have known each other for a few years now,” a spokesperson for Xapo said. “Neither David being a small investor in Xapo nor David and Wences having known each other for a few years compromises Wences’ independence in Libra’s board.”The Libra Association board was formed after high-profile exits by a number of companies, including Mastercard Inc., Visa Inc. and PayPal. The exodus followed scrutiny by lawmakers and regulators who have expressed concern about Facebook’s poor track record in protecting user privacy.Facebook has described Libra as a community effort. But the original group of about 28 partners has dwindled to 21 organizations that signed on as members on Tuesday. Facebook’s challenge will be to convince more companies that there is value for them in a project that has the social-media giant firmly in the driving seat, whether it intended that to be the case or not.(Corrects number of original partners in final paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
France is pushing for the creation of a European-wide regulator of digital platforms such as Google to sanction possible abuse of power, a French presidency official said on Tuesday, citing a dispute over EU copyright law as an example. Google said last month it would stop showing news snippets from European publishers on search results for its French users to comply with a new European copyright law, prompting anger in Paris. "A big American company, Google namely, has announced it would not comply with an EU copyright directive," the official told reporters.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Being an enormously profitable industry leader doesn't mean what it used to.Johnson & Johnson and UnitedHealthGroup Inc., the world’s biggest health-care company and health insurer, respectively, reported third-quarter earnings results Tuesday morning that should thrill investors. Both managed to beat Wall Street earnings estimates and boosted full-year profit guidance above expectations as they generated a combined $80 billion in sales. You’d expect shares of well-run blue chips in a defensive sector to be doing well amid recession fears. And yet, even after both J&J and UnitedHealth rose in early trading on their earnings news — with the latter’s stock surging more than 7% — both are substantially trailing the broader market this year as investors focus on policy and legal risks. Making boatloads of cash in today’s environment is the easy part for these companies. The question is their ability to keep doing so in the long run. The performance of lobbyists and, in J&J's case, an armada of lawyers will matter more than the performance of these businesses for some time to come. A big chunk of the Democratic presidential debate Tuesday evening will be devoted to discussing policies that range from unpleasant for both companies to existentially threatening to UnitedHealth.The most threatening proposal from the industry’s standpoint is “Medicare for All,” which would eliminate most private insurance in favor of a government plan and create price pressure throughout the health-care sector. It’s likely too ambitious to have much chance at passing anytime soon, but it can’t be ignored. It’s the preferred policy of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, at least for now, and she is looking increasingly like the front-runner. Even the comparatively moderate public options proposed by candidates such as former Vice President Joe Biden would take market share from insurers and pressure profits.While the worst-case scenarios would hurt UnitedHealth more, J&J could very well be more likely to see major policy damage stemming from other initiatives. There's more consensus on drug pricing among Democrats than there is on broader health reform, and that consensus isn’t pharma-friendly. Many Democratic presidential candidates support something similar to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s muscular drug price negotiation bill. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently reported that the legislation would save Medicare $345 billion over seven years and cost drugmakers as much as $1 trillion in revenue over a decade. Action on drug prices is also possible under a broader range of 2020 electoral outcomes; even traditionally more industry-friendly Republicans are keen to act, and President Donald Trump has sounded off on the issue as well and promised action. Add in J&J’s uncertain liabilities from thousands of lawsuits targeting all sides of its business, and it’s easy to see why investors can't focus on fundamentals. Some see this weakness as a buying opportunity, but that bet requires a brave and patient investor. We’re more than a year away from the 2020 election, and J&J’s legal issues will take a long time to resolve. Tangible policy change remains uncertain and distant, but the policy consensus has shifted in an interventionist direction.Even a run of several fabulous quarters can’t change that. To contact the author of this story: Max Nisen at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Max Nisen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering biotech, pharma and health care. He previously wrote about management and corporate strategy for Quartz and Business Insider.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Wall Street was off to a strong start on Tuesday as upbeat earnings reports from JPMorgan Chase, UnitedHealth and Johnson & Johnson allayed concerns about the fallout from a prolonged U.S.-China trade war on corporate America. Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co gained 1.7% to a three-week high after the company beat Wall Street estimates for third-quarter profit by a wide margin.